Goodwin College of Business

Goodwin College of Business Doctoral Program

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  • Goodwin College of Business Doctoral Program

Dedicated to Better Understanding the Work of Professionals

The Goodwin College of Business Doctoral program is dedicated to better understanding the work of professionals within the context of global trends and emerging problems.

This program prepares advanced professionals with a state-of-the-art doctoral education that offers a unique combination of research, theory, practice, and action-based learning to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to lead strategically within organizations and at the intersection of business and society.

Ideal students are individuals with a master’s degree who are ready to take ownership for the next phase of their career and dedicate themselves to doctoral level coursework. Individual backgrounds can vary and include business leaders, entrepreneurs, directors from social and government agencies, educators, human resource professionals and military personnel.

Distinguished Visiting Scholars and Practitioners from leading universities and organizations around the globe serve as content and thought experts. Side-by-side with Benedictine University core faculty, they present the latest research and practice to deeply engage students in the theory and operation of organization change and global leadership.

Three Degree Options

GCOB Doctoral program

PhD in Organization Development

This degree places research emphasis on organization development within management and the strategic role of human resources.

GCOB Doctoral program

PhD in Values-Driven Leadership

The focus of this path is developing original research and contributing new knowledge to the field of Values-Driven Leadership. PhD programs typically require several years of full-time study, culminating in a dissertation that makes a significant contribution to scholarly understanding. Graduates of PhD programs often pursue careers in academic research, teach at universities or opt to stay within the corporate world.

GCOB Doctoral program

DBA in Values-Driven Leadership

The focus of this path is geared toward experienced professionals who want to further develop their leadership skills and apply them in real-world settings. The emphasis is on practical application, integrating theory with practice to solve problems and improve organizational effectiveness. The DBA program requires an applied research project instead of a dissertation, which is different in scope. Graduates of DBA programs often return to leadership positions within their organizations or pivot into consulting though the opportunities are broad.

The BenU Difference

Benedictine’s Three-Degree-Option Doctoral Program

The Goodwin College of Business offers doctoral candidates the opportunity to earn one of three degree options: Ph.D. in Organization Development, Ph.D. in Values-Driven Leadership, or a Doctor of Business Administration in Values-Driven Leadership. This in-person doctoral program, built on over twenty-five years of doctoral success, provides the foundation to enable leaders to develop themselves and others, build flourishing organizations and transform business and society.

The doctoral degree in Organization Development at Benedictine University was one of the first graduate OD programs in the country. The program is built on a 50-year history of successful graduate-level OD education and this is intended for those persons with extensive experience, who currently hold responsible positions either in the field of organization development or human resource management.

The Ph.D./DBA in Values-Driven Leadership was the first scholar-practitioner program in the world focusing explicitly on values-driven leadership. VDL is the theory and practice of leading profitable, sustainable, and responsible companies in today’s global economy. The program equips students to become thought leaders who have a transformative impact on business and society by leading boldly at four levels: personal, interpersonal, organizational, and globally. 

Common Core of Coursework to prepare for Dissertation Research

Students take a common core of coursework during the first two years that prepare them for their dissertation research which then allows them to choose one of three degree options.

The first-year courses concentrate on setting the tone and developing sensitivity to the role of organization development and leadership within the applied behavioral sciences. Coursework topics focus on the empirical research that helps us understand behavior at all levels – self, interpersonal, teams, organizations, inter-organizational, and society. Heavy emphasis is placed on the philosophy of science, the development of research skills, and organization research and theory.

The second-year courses extend the depth of study in leadership and change and also develop further research skills in preparation for a student’s dissertation research. At the end of the second-year students choose their degree and then embark on a yearlong dissertation research.

The third-year: students work with Goodwin College of Business faculty and their dissertation committees to tailor their research and writing to help advance the student’s career and individual goals. This results in a defended dissertation based on original research. Additionally, students receive credit for an international experience by attending an international academic conference or other international experience with a faculty member.

Students who begin the doctoral program may earn a Master’s of Science in Values-Driven Leadership en route to their doctorate if they are interested. The master’s degree can be awarded after the student has earned at minimum 30 semester credit hours of qualifying courses within the doctoral program and must be awarded within the six year graduate program limit; it cannot be awarded after the Ph.D. or D.B.A. is complete.

Our curriculum provides the critical-thinking skills and abilities to create high-performance organizations, drive change, mobilize a workforce and emphasize social responsibility. The curriculum emphasizes global perspectives that address the health, sustainability and flourishing of the planet through products and services that enrich people’s lives and help them thrive. The curriculum focuses on three areas of study (global leadership, strategic change and corporate sustainability) coupled with extensive training in research design.

View the Goodwin College of Business Doctoral Program Catalog Information

Doctoral course catalog descriptions

Download the Doctoral Program Curriculum (pdf)

A PhD in Values-Driven Leadership or Organization Development opens doors to diverse careers!

You could become a professor, consultant, non-profit leader, author, entrepreneur, or more. Your path depends on your specialization, experience, and goals. Explore options through professional associations, your alma mater, and online job boards. Find a fulfilling career that aligns with your values and skills!

Author/Speaker/Independent Consultant: Share your expertise through writing books, articles, or blog posts, and speaking at conferences and workshops. Work directly with clients on a variety of projects related to leadership development, organizational change, and research.

Executive Director/CEO/Policy Analyst/Advisor: Lead non-profit organizations or government agencies towards achieving their missions. Secure funding, manage budgets, and oversee staff and programs. Develop and evaluate public policies related to leadership, organizational development, and social justice.

Leadership Consultant/Organizational Development Specialist/Executive Coach: Provide one-on-one coaching to executives and senior leaders on leadership skills, career development, and work-life balance. Work with organizations to develop and implement leadership development programs, improve organizational culture, and navigate change initiatives. Design and implement interventions to improve organizational performance, employee engagement, and team dynamics.

Professor/Dean/Administrator: Teach graduate-level courses in leadership, organizational behavior, change management, and related topics. Conduct research and publish scholarly articles. Lead academic programs or departments within universities or business schools. Oversee curriculum development, faculty recruitment, and student affairs.

What Our Graduates Have Done With This Degree

Students and alumni from Benedictine’s Doctoral program range from human resource managers and university deans to senior corporate executives and military generals. The program requires career diversity among its cohorts to create genuine dialogue and learning experiences that can be immediately impactful within the careers and organizations of program graduates.



Cohort & classroom


Flexible schedule

Total Credit Hours


72 semester credit hours


22 courses plus dissertation

Total Cost


$40,000/year; Includes all course materials



Three years
2 years of coursework
1 year of dissertation work



Applications are accepted until the cohort is full. A new cohort launches each Fall

Class Schedule


1st 2 years – in person 8x per year


3rd year – work independently with dissertation committee

Student Testimonial

Karen Karesh, Ph.D.

Karen Karesh, Ph.D.

VDL, 2020

Director Diversity, Equity and Inclusion & Workforce Development at Constellation

“As a two-time graduate of Benedictine University, I was already aware of the quality educational experience. However, after comparing programs across the country, Benedictine University offered access to experts in the field that no other university could match. In addition to this, the cohort experience with such smart, accomplished, and wonderful human beings was the icing on the cake!”

Discover your future at BenU